Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (2023)

throughShadra Bruce|stepparents

Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (1)

throughShadra Bruce

There are certain aspects of stepparenting that don't come to light as often as they probably should. While most blended families have struggles or issues — and some blended families have more than their share of added stress — people don't often talk about what happens when stepmom or stepdad are abused or manipulated. You may find it very difficult to tell the man or woman you love that their child is causing you pain or has a part of their personality that is sometimes only visible to you. While I've always advocated in my articles and in my life, to agree with the stepchild when in doubt, I may not state clearly enough (and therefore will now) that it doesn't matter what the child experienced after the divorce deserves it You, as a stepparent, to be treated with respect.

I've been fortunate, for the most part, with my experience as a stepmother; My stepchildren were respectful and gave me a big role in their lives. However, in both my own family and other blended families, I have seen the division that occurs when a stepchild manipulates a situation.

Parents believe the best in their children—how else would we learn to tolerate the terrible twos, the even worse threes, and the challenges of raising teenagers? We see the best in our children and give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes we even go so far as to excuse them or their behavior. We do it for love.

However, there are times when a stepchild finds a way to make life difficult for the stepparent. This is an excerpt fromShadra's book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read on or request a review copy.

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(Video) When your step-child is SO RUDE or IGNORES you.
  1. Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (8)

    Kimberlyon June 17, 2012 at 7:32 p.m

    please someone out there help me. I have a husband of 7 years who my children (16,20,22) love and respect. My husband has a 20-year-old daughter who hates me and physically threatens me. My husband takes her side. Today was Father's Day and my children made nice things for their "dad". Another altercation via email and phone from her. My husband sided with her and I asked him to please tell her that she cannot disrespect me, I am his wife and he would not do it. I told him to go. If he doesn't stand up for me, I can't stay married to him. This happened about 6-7 hours ago and I'm still in tears.


    • Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (9)

      Shadra Bruceon Jun 18, 2012 at 6:56 am


      I am sorry you are having such a difficult time. The fact that the stepchild is an adult, who I assume doesn't live with you, affects the kind of suggestions I'm making here. First, I believe that the biological parent is responsible for setting the stage for a successful relationship between their new spouse and their children. Without being a professional counselor or having more insight into the nature of the issues you are having with your stepdaughter, all I can suggest is that you do two things immediately: 1. Stop dealing with this adult child for now , and 2. seek advice. Ideally, your husband will accompany you and you will work together on this topic, but even if he does not go to family counseling with you, you should go.

      What is the problem between you and your stepdaughter? Was she able to articulate why she is angry with you? Did you two fight about something specific? Would she be willing to go to a counseling session with you?

      If you feel you are unsafe or that she is carrying out her threats of physical violence, please contact the authorities.

      Given the ages of all the children involved, you and your husband are free to focus on your relationship to some extent.

      Take care and thanks for reaching out.

      More resources are available here:http://www.stepfamilies.info/programs-services.php


  2. Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (10)

    (Video) Dealing with disrespectful stepchildren to the point where you want out the marriage/relationship⁉️

    Creepyon December 31, 2012 at 3:39 p.m

    Help. I am engaged to a wonderful, caring, respectful man. When we got engaged he shared with me his hope that he and my children (15, 13 and 9) would be a family. They were initially great. Until he moved in and started reminding her to do as I asked. (like "Didn't your mother say that?"). He has been living with him for 6 months and her disrespect and bad attitude have hurt him deeply. It doesn't get better, it gets worse. He could do better but I can honestly say, although I'm ashamed to admit, they are. I feel like I raised her wrong. I do not know what to do. They had a hard life with their father and the divorce, but he doesn't deserve to be punished for the father's abusive behavior towards me and them. Insurance doesn't cover counseling or therapy, and the sessions are too expensive to consider even one a month.
    Help someone, any advice is appreciated!


    • Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (11)

      Shadra Bruceon January 3, 2013 at 3:26 p.m

      Hi. I am sorry for your difficulties. Even without counseling, I believe your family will be able to get through this. One thing to realize is that as your children get older, they will be more resistant to the changes that are taking place. They probably feel like they're losing you and that their world is upside down, and when your fiancé is already ushering in the role of guardian and father figure, it can add a lot of extra tension.

      (Video) My stepkids are disrespectful brats | Ask Dr. Pettis

      My advice would be that you spend time together with your children, reassure them that you are still there for them and make sure they know that this man makes you happy. Be kind but firm about expecting them to treat him with respect - but don't expect less of him towards the children. They too deserve to be treated with respect, and you should demand that too.

      Give the children a chance to voice their concerns and have a say in how things happen. They probably feel completely out of control and the only power they have is to disturb the peace of your family life.

      Hopefully others can chime in with advice as well... but be patient!! Six months isn't long enough to adjust to everyone and it's normal for things to be bumpy at this point.

      Much luck!


  3. Disrespectful Stepchild | MomsGetReal (12)

    Ireneon Jan 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I have an adult stepdaughter aged 31 and an adult stepson aged 29. The daughter has done nothing but cause stress in my marriage to her father. She makes him feel guilty and lets him pay her and her mother's rent and deliver a car to the mother for two years, my husband pays the expenses, now she expects rent money for her and her mother. She often comes to stay with us, she lives out of town, and when she's around my husband and I we fight (that's the only time we fight, she spies on me while she listens to my phone calls goes through my stuff and tells all family and friends i am mean and refuse her food she has no boyfriend in 8 years stepson has been in and out of jails and mental hospitals he stole tried from me drugging my dog ​​he no longer lives with us its so sad my husband and i have a great marriage they hate to see their dad happy and it drains him emotionally and financially we are currently in marriage counseling but my husband denies any wrongdoing by his adult children I have never met such disrespectful ungrateful adults in my life I am now deaf and distant with my husband Will e r ever open his eyes to their evil behavior. I have a 25 year old daughter who is married and not causing us any problems.

    (Video) How To Deal With Entitled Stepchildren


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When your step kids are disrespectful? ›

As long as your stepchild complies with your rules, don't worry if they seem a bit resentful that you're their authority. In other words, don't challenge them on what they're thinking. For example, when you tell them to do their chores and they do them, that should be enough. They don't have to like it.

What should a stepparent never do? ›

What not to do as a stepparent
  • Try too hard to please: Many stepparents try too hard to please their stepchildren. ...
  • Impose your own rules without an agreement: Rules often cause misunderstandings in families with stepparents. ...
  • Set your expectations too high: Don't assume you will fit in with the new family immediately.
Oct 22, 2021

Is it normal to not like your stepchild? ›

"It's quite normal that you don't love your stepchildren. Just because you fell in love with their father doesn't mean you will automatically love his children."

How do you deal with bratty stepkids? ›

Dealing with Difficult Step-Children
  1. Expect Step-Children to Have Different Value Systems. ...
  2. Discuss Behavioral Patterns and Observations with your Partner. ...
  3. Let the Parent Take the Lead on Discipline. ...
  4. Check Yourself When Feeling Envy. ...
  5. Honor Needs for Alone Time. ...
  6. Get Outside Help When You Feel Stuck.
Nov 2, 2021

Who comes first in a blended family? ›

The key to moving the kids into the backseat, literally and figuratively in blended families, is to make your couple relationship the #1 priority in your stepfamily. Each parent must put that spouse/partner relationship at the very top because if that relationship fails, there is no family unit left to try to blend.

What is stepchild syndrome? ›

The stepdaughter demands the majority of their parent's attention, and will act out if she isn't getting enough. The stepdaughter is often clingy to their parent. The stepdaughter wants to be directly involved in decision-making. The stepdaughter behaves competitively with the stepmother.

How common is step parent abuse? ›

Seventeen percent of the women who had stepfathers in their childhoods had been sexually abused, compared to only 2 percent of those having biological fathers in their childhoods.

Who should discipline in blended families? ›

Because it is so difficult for a stepparent to discipline a child, it is very important for the biological parent to do it. Somebody has to do it, and no one else can. If no one disciplines a child, the consequences for the child are likely to be very bad.

Can a step parent punish a step child? ›

Can I Discipline My Stepchild? While a stepparent may not be a legal parent, disciplining a child is perfectly legal (so long as it doesn't involve excessive corporal punishment). Unless the discipline crosses the line, a stepparent should have the authority and support of their partner to discipline.

How involved should a stepmother be? ›

The stepmother role should be based on what's comfortable for her, the children, and the family as a whole. Stepmothers will always share their husband with his children for the rest of their married life. A strong bond may exist between and husband and his children from a prior marriage.

What is Nacho parenting? ›

Nacho parenting is a parenting method for blended families that encourages the stepparent to take an auxiliary role while the biological or custodial parent takes the lead in parenting their own children.

Who comes first spouse or child? ›

The vows make it clear that the relationship comes first. It's one of the biggest reasons why your spouse should come first. Putting the children first diminishes the commitment and dishonors your wife. Putting each other first creates the kind of confidence that causes love to thrive and children to feel secure.

Why is it so hard being a stepmom? ›

YOU'RE RAISING KIDS WITH RULES + VALUES THAT MAY NOT BE ALIGNED WITH YOURS. Stepmoms come in halfway through the game. Rules, expectations, and family values have already been established. Many times, stepmoms report feeling torn because they do not agree with rules and expectations that are in place for the kids.

What do you do when you don't like your children's spouse? ›

Don't like your child's partner? Here's what to do
  • Share your specific concerns. Have a heart-to-heart talk. ...
  • Avoid being confrontational. ...
  • Relate past experiences. ...
  • Get to know the new partner. ...
  • Exploit an area of strength. ...
  • Understand that this person meets a need for your child. ...
  • Accept the partner completely.
Feb 22, 2016

What are 4 problems for blended families? ›

Some of the disadvantages of a blended family are increased sibling rivalry, identity confusion for younger kids, legal issues, financial troubles, and negative effects of clashing parenting styles.

Can stepchildren cause divorce? ›

Statistics show that stepkids are frequently the cause of divorces. Okay, it's unfair to blame the children. More accurate to say that frictions within blended families and the challenges of stepparenting make it more difficult for second marriages to survive.

How long do blended families last? ›

Research even shows that blending a family takes upwards to 5 years, so prepare yourselves for the long haul. In the early stages of the relationship, couples feel excited and spend a lot of time together.

Are blended families more likely to divorce? ›

Statistics reflect that if both partners have kids, the odds are more significantly stacked against you. In fact, seventy percent of blended marriages end in divorce. Research also shows that blended families require at least two to five years before hitting their stride.

How do you survive a marriage with stepchildren? ›

8 Ways to Build Relationships with Your Stepchildren
  1. Watch Out for Unrealistic Expectations. ...
  2. Encourage Openness. ...
  3. Be Supportive. ...
  4. Be Sure to Partner with Your Spouse. ...
  5. Let the Parent Discipline. ...
  6. Don't Turn Your Stepchildren into Scapegoats. ...
  7. Maintain a Sense of Humor. ...
  8. Be Persistent.

What is spousification? ›

A married, widowed, or single parent may treat their child as their spouse; this is known as spousification, and it occurs more often among single than married parents. Mother-son spousification is more common than father-daughter spousification.

How do you live with a toxic stepchild? ›

Things You Should Know

Be the adult in the relationship and remain patient as the kids adjust to a new family dynamic. Give them space to process the changes in their lives. Bond with your stepchildren through activities you both enjoy. Don't force a relationship—just be there and be your authentic self around them.

Who is most likely to mistreat a child? ›

Mothers were the number one perpetrators of child maltreatment, followed by fathers, mother and father, and mother and nonparent(s).

When should you walk away from a step family? ›

Some include: Major parenting differences that one or both of you can't get past. Having false expectations as to what your relationship and family life will look like once you get married or move in together. Unwillingness to work on difficult problems or seek outside help when needed.

What is the divorce rate for blended families? ›

Blended families are hard on marriage

About 40 percent of first marriages — and 60 percent of second marriages — end in divorce. When both spouses have children from a previous marriage, the divorce rate is 70 percent. Ouch. The early plots of the 'The Brady Bunch' addressed the growing pains of blended families.


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